Senate Document Number 0103F
Date of Senate Approval 08/28/03

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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:

UPC 1:     Notification of Intent to Plan a Joint Engineering Program in         Mechatronics with NC State.



THE PURPOSE OF ACADEMIC PROGRAM PLANNING: Planning a new academic degree program provides an opportunity for an institution to make the case for need and demand and for its ability to offer a quality program. This notification, and the planning activity to follow, do not guarantee that authorization to establish will be granted.

Date: September 1, 2003

Constituent Institution: The University of North Carolina at Asheville and North Carolina State University

CIP Discipline Specialty Title: Engineering
CIP Discipline Specialty Number:
14.0101 Level: B
Exact Title of the Proposed Program: Mechatronics
Exact Degree Abbreviation (e.g. B.S., B.A., M.A., M.S., C.A.S.): B.S.
Does the proposed program constitute a substantive change as defined by SACS? Yes X No___
a) Is it at a more advanced level than those previously authorized? Yes____ No X
b) Is the proposed program in a new discipline division? Yes X No____
Approximate date for submitting the Request to Establish proposal (must be within one year of date of submission of notification of intent to plan): 1/15/04
Proposed date to establish degree: month ____August___ year____2004___(Date can be no sooner than six months after the date of notification of intent to plan and must allow at least three months for review of the request to establish, once submitted.)

1. Describe the proposed new degree program. The description should include:
a. a brief description of the program and a statement of educational objectives
b. the relationship of the proposed new program to the institutional mission and how the
program fits into the institution's strategic plan
c. the relationship of the proposed new program to other existing programs at the institution
d. special features or conditions that make the institution a desirable, unique, or appropriate place to initiate such a degree program.

We intend to plan a joint bachelor's degree program in engineering with a concentration in Mechatronics, offered by UNCA and NCSU. Mechatronics is an interdisciplinary engineering degree that includes the study of mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering. The new joint degree program will give students the benefit of a strong foundation in the liberal arts combined with rigorous studies in engineering disciplines.

NCSU is nationally known for its high-quality undergraduate and graduate engineering programs. UNCA currently features three established programs in engineering involving approximately 100 students a year. We offer a 2 + 2 program with NCSU, the NCSU Mechatronics program, offered entirely on the UNCA campus, and a major in Industrial and Engineering Management offered through the UNCA Department of Management and Accountancy. These programs have evolved over the last twenty-five years into strong, popular programs. It is logical for UNCA and NCSU to cooperate in the next step, the offering of a joint degree program in Mechatronics.

An engineering initiative is consistent with the UNCA liberal arts mission. A tailored, focused, high-quality, interdisciplinary, modest-sized engineering program fits within our long-term planning goals for incorporating appropriate professional and pre-professional programs into our committed liberal arts framework. Currently we offer curricula in education, health and fitness, management, accounting, mass communications, multimedia arts and sciences, pre-health, and atmospheric science. This evolution has followed a national pattern. In the last twenty-five years liberal arts colleges across the country have been selectively adding career-based programs.

We furthermore believe that inclusion of applied programs is consistent with our instructional mission because of the inherent benefits this kind of educational experience offer to the state of North Carolina. Students from UNCA who choose to go on in these applied fields do so with a broadened intellectual horizon and a liberal arts perspective. These students graduate with the ability to lead successful, rewarding lives endowed with an array of ethical, cultural, scientific, and social sensitivities increasingly viewed as necessary to succeed in their professional responsibilities and subsequent degree programs. No less importantly, the presence of small, applied programs in the UNCA curriculum enhances the non-applied programs. Core liberal arts programs and applied programs can address the same issues from different perspectives. Students in both curricular areas thus receive a value-added benefit from a successfully implemented mission that emphasizes the liberal arts and incorporates other kinds of educational programs.

UNCA's nationally regarded general education curriculum is undergoing revision as part of our mandated review process: our new Integrated Liberal Studies curriculum will update our current general education program by clustering the sciences with the social sciences and the humanities. This will provide students with an opportunity to see how disciplines can address issues and problems through systems of knowledge and practice. The development of the new ILS curriculum should offer an ideal opportunity to create a general education experience that will educate engineering professionals in the social, ethical, and cultural implications of the work they will be doing.

The opportunity to respond to the voiced needs and aspirations of western North Carolina, particularly the Asheville metropolitan area, is one of the most salient rationales for this curricular expansion. The community of Asheville for many decades has identified engineering as a resource important for the continuing economic growth of the city and region. The continuing, positive relationship between UNCA and NCSU makes the development of a joint engineering program a possibility. Our long association benefits both campuses and the University system as a whole. We anticipate that the development and growth of a joint program will deepen the productive association of the two campuses and allow for the most productive use of scarce resources.

NCSU has an established Mechatronics program on the UNCA campus; the structure of the program is in place and functioning. The next step is the establishment of a joint degree program between NCSU and UNCA. Both UNCA and NCSU students and faculty would benefit from the combination of strengths from these two institutions. As an added benefit, certain logistical difficulties, which have hampered the current program, would be easily solved if the program were administered as a joint degree program.

2. List all other public and private institutions of higher education in North Carolina currently operating programs similar to the proposed new degree program.

North Carolina State University

3. Estimate the number of students that would be enrolled in the program during the first year of operation: Full-Time_30__ Part-Time__20____

4. If there are plans to offer the program away from campus during the first year of operation:
a. briefly describe these plans, including potential sites and possible method(s) of delivering instruction. NA
b. indicate any similar programs being offered off-campus in North Carolina by other institutions (public or private)

North Carolina State University currently offers a distance Mechatronics degree at UNCA; the proposed joint degree program will be based on the current degree program.

c. estimate the number of students that would be enrolled in the program during the first
year of operation: Full-Time______ Part-Time______ NA

5. List the names, titles, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of the person(s) responsible for planning the proposed program.

Dr. Mark Padilla Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (828) 251-6470

Dr. Edward Katz Associate Vice Chancellor for University Programs (828) 250-3872

Dr. Katherine Whatley Associate Vice Chancellor for Natural Science (828) 250-3880

Dr. Archer Gravely Director of Institutional Research (828) 232-5118

Dr. Yusef Fahmy Director of NCSU Engineering Programs at UNCA (828) 251-6944

Ms. Cheryl Alderman Associate Director of NCSU Engineering Programs at UNCA (828) 251-6943

Dr. Nino Masnari Dean of Engineering, NCSU (919) 515-2311

Dr. Richard Keltie Associate Dean of Engineering, NCSU (919) 515-3693